Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Thursday, 4 April 2019 - 5:08pm

Child Abuse Prevention and Autism Awareness Month is being observed in April under the theme ‘Every Child Matters’.

Team Leader of Family, Children and Protective Services in the Social Development Department, Ms. Laurel Freeman has stated that this year’s theme conveys a message of child protection that includes safety and wellbeing of every single child in the Territory.

Ms. Freeman added, “Not just children who are well but children who have disabilities and other developmental challenges; so we wanted to encompass every single child in the Virgin Islands.”

Ms. Freeman said the Social Development Department, which is the lead agency driving Child Abuse Prevention and Autism Awareness Month  advocacy campaign will continue providing as much information on child protection as well as offer support to families in need.

The team leader explained, “Persons may not be aware of what the specific signs of child neglect or emotional abuse entail and so the advocacy campaign seeks to provide the relevant information to persons to highlight the physical and behavioral indicators and how to make a report on the suspicion of abuse.”

She stated that the department has partnered with a number of schools, churches and non-governmental organisations to boost their approach to informing the wider Virgin Islands public on issues of abuse.

This month’s activities include a Family Movie Night on April 6 on Virgin Gorda at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church Grounds at 5:00 p.m. and on Tortola on April 27 at Captain Mulligans in Nanny Cay at 6:00 p.m. Admission for adults is $5 and children are

$3. Proceeds from the movie night will go towards a family in need.  A Disability Awareness March and Fun Day is also slated for April 12 at 10:00 a.m. on Tortola.

The awareness march will begin at 10:00 a.m. from the Althea Scatliffe Primary School to the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park. The Social Development Department has also partnered this month with local business LSL Bakery to raise awareness by providing blue cupcakes to raise funds for families in need. Persons can contact LSL Bakery at 340-5151 to make a purchase or place orders.

Residents are invited to wear any shade of blue or “Every Child Matters” t-shirts to show support to survivors of abuse when the month of activities culminate on April 26. Tees can be purchased at Urban VI at the Cyril Romney Tortola Pier Park.

For more information on Child Abuse Prevention and Autism Awareness Month, interested persons can telephone 468-3636 or like the Facebook page @Breakthesilencevi.

Persons are also asked to telephone the Police at 311 or the Social Development emergency hotline at 468-9371 in the event that they suspect that a child is being abused.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the British Virgin Islands.


Adrianna J. Soverall

Ministry of Health and Social Development
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Telephone: 1(284)468-2272 or 2174